Anchorage, AK – Earlier today, the Alaska District for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Pebble mine. The EIS is meant to inform the Corps’ decision whether to issue a federal Clean Water Act permit for the mine and is intended to be a comprehensive, science-based assessment that incorporates both public and scientific input. Throughout the rushed EIS process, Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) has documented numerous data gaps, red flags, and expert agency input indicating that proposed Pebble mine would have unacceptable, adverse impacts on Bristol Bay’s salmon – including known deficiencies in the EIS.
Statement from Jason Metrokin, BBNC President and CEO
“As we have said throughout this process, and as Congress emphasized in the Fall of 2019, adverse impacts to Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon fishery and ecosystem from the proposed Pebble mine are unacceptable. Though we are closely examining the entirety of the EIS, it clearly states that a 20-year mine plan would, at minimum, directly impact over 3,000 acres of wetlands and other waters, over 2,200 acres of which would be lost permanently, and directly destroy over 105 miles of streams. These impacts are the result of mining just 13% of the ore deposit; Pebble Limited Partnership acknowledges the mine is likely to expand in the future.
Put simply, the EIS does nothing to alleviate our concerns about the myriad risks Pebble would pose to Bristol Bay’s watershed, salmon, way of life, and economy.
BBNC supports responsible development, but time and time again, the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) has proven it cannot meet the rigorous standards necessary to permit this project. Recently, and just weeks before the release of the EIS, PLP submitted a new project description that includes a revised transportation route – a route that uses BBNC lands despite our specific refusal to allow such use – and a new, previously unexamined, port facility design. Such major changes with little time for analysis is, unfortunately, standard practice in what has been a fundamentally broken permitting process.”
BBNC plans to release a more detailed analysis of the EIS in the coming days, following a full review of the document.
Additional analyses of previous versions of the EIS are available at the links below:
• Expert Agency Critique of Preliminary Final EIS
• Salmon Impacts
• Cooperating Agency Concerns with EIS